Life isn’t easy for an ex-con. It is even worse when you’re an ex-supervillain in Twilight City.
Frankie “Playtime” Follis was a prodigy, pushed into villainy by her mother after she manifested the power to make any toy into a weapon. Now, fresh out of prison, she’s unable to find any work beyond making drinks at a seedy bar catering to the low-level supervillains she’s meant to be avoiding as part of her parole. Still, Frankie keeps to the code of honor the blue-collar baddies abide by, though she wants nothing more than to rebuild her life and win back custody of her daughter, Maggie.
Unfortunately, Frankie is pulled back into the life after the archvillain called The Stickman kills Kid Dusk, the sidekick of Twilight City’s protector, The Insomniac. This makes the stalwart hero snap, sending him on a violent killing spree targeting every villain in town while searching for Stickman. With Insomniac’s fellow heroes covering up his crimes, it falls to Frankie and a rag-tag group of has-beens and henchmen to bring Stickman to justice while Twilight City is still standing.
Minor Threats is not a wholly original story. Much as Watchmen put a mature spin on the classic heroes of Charlton Comics, Minor Threats is a dark and darkly hilarious Batman story that DC Comics would never dare publish. Most of the characters are clearly parodies of Batman, Robin, Joker, Riddler and more. Yet there are some original ideas, such as Scalpel, a supervillain surgeon who makes her living offering off-the-books medical care to costumed criminals… for a percentage of their earnings, of course.
Writers Patton Oswalt and Jordan Blum make every joke one would expect regarding the silliness of costumed criminals, boy wonders and how many masked heroes need psychiatric help. Thankfully, Minor Threats proves to be far more than a collective of gags about popular superheroes and genre conventions. Oswalt and Blum bring true pathos to the five supervillains forced to become reluctant (not quite) heroes, developing them into full characters rather than cardboard cliches.
The five leads’ origin stories tackle a variety of serious issues, ranging from abusive parents to coming out of the closet to embrace true love. The effect is not unlike the duo’s previous writing for the MODOK animated series or The Venture Bros. Serious emotions mix with dark comedy to tell a truly original tale.
The artwork by Scott Hepburn is equally well done. Much like Dave Gibbons on Watchmen, Hepburn draws Minor Threats like a traditional comic book. This only adds to the visual dissonance as the action goes at right angles to every expectation of a typical superhero story.
Dark Horse Comics rates Minor Threats as appropriate for ages 14 and up. I believe that to be a fair assessment of the book’s content. There is a fair bit of violence and some disturbing scenes of children dying and parents being killed in front of their kids, as well as a bit of adult language. There is no nudity or sexual content, making this safe for most teen audiences.
Minor Threats A Quick End To A Long Beginning Vol. 01 By Patton Oswalt, Jordan Blum, , Art by Scott Hepburn, Ian Hrring, Nate Piekos, Dark Horse, 2023 ISBN: 9781506729992
Publisher Age Rating: 14+
NFNT Age Recommendation: Adult (18+), Older Teen (16-18), Teen (13-16)
Character Representation: Black, Gay, Neurodivergent, Ambiguous Mental Illness
The story opens on Planet Ferretonia, where the wide-eyed and lovable Feefs (short for Fee-Foo) has, as usual, a question. To the exasperation of the council member teaching the younglings, Feefs is curious about the world beyond Dook Dook Island, but the conversation is derailed when Feefs’ gadget-obsessed brother Meems (Meemoo) shows up to whisk Feefs away.
Meems has a plan for exploring the forbidden worlds beyond—using forbidden technology—in search of his vanished mentor. After an exciting (and humorous) adventure, the two pass through a portal to a new world…
Meanwhile, on Earth, Liza, a red-haired tween, is dealing with a lot of things. She misses her absent parents, her deceased guinea pig Pushkin, and hasn’t figured out a way to tell anyone that she’s struggling in school. Her concerned adult brother, Sasha, who is caring for her while working as a chef at the local diner, insists on dropping her off at the local animal shelter where she’ll have to talk to her best friend Lexi, whether she wants to or not. The meeting with Lexi is awkward, but he’s sympathetic to Liza not wanting to talk and takes her to meet their newest rescues—a pair of ferrets!
Liza’s problems are put to the side for the moment, as she becomes thoroughly invested in helping Meems and Feefs return to their planet and the three learn some gentle lessons about friendship, kindness, making mistakes, and not eating everything in sight. The story ends on a cliffhanger, with Liza poised for an adventure with her new friends.
Cooper’s art is chunky and goofy; Meems favors goggles and toolbelts while Feefs prefers dressing up in whatever he can find, including “borrowed” clothes from Liza’s stuffed animals. Both are fluffy with blends of beige, brown, and white fur, but their personalities are clearly different. Meems, with a little more fluff around the face, is nevertheless clearly the serious one, with fangs poking out from his habitual frown. Feefs is goofy and open, with big, exaggerated cartoon eyes and a wide, happy grin as he goes through life making friends with everyone he sees.
All of the human characters appear white; Liza has a thick curve of reddish hair and a little cowlick, her brother Sasha’s blonde hair is pulled up in a short ponytail and he has a shadow of beard and blue-inked tattoo. Liza’s friend Lexi has short, wavy brown hair and thick dark eyebrows and wears casual jeans and loose t-shirts and Leslie, the eccentric older woman they visit in the woods has a messy scruff of gray hair and a pointed, reddened nose. The most attractive part of Cooper’s art is her ability to capture the ferrets as both intelligent, sentient personalities but also as goofy pets. Meems wraps himself up in a blanket to brood, Feefs delights in soft blankets, and the guard ferrets in the Citadel, like real ferrets, prefer a good nap. Carson’s own ferrets and models are shown in the back of the book.
This is a light and fluffy but fun offering. There are a few thoughtful moments included, from Liza introducing herself with her pronouns to Lexi’s sympathetic listening and Leslie’s robust advice on making mistakes, but it’s mostly a lighthearted adventure story with lots of humor, silly drawings, and cute ferrets. The only caution is that this is very definitely the first book in a series, with a major cliffhanger, and that’s always a risk when you don’t know if the series will be continued or not. Hand to fans of Investigators, Ninja Cat, and Cat & Cat Adventures.
Ferrets from Planet Ferretonia! Vol. 1 By Liza N. Cooper Andrews McMeel, 2023 ISBN: 9781524876708
NFNT Age Recommendation: Easy Readers (5-9), Middle Grade (7-11)
Colleen Madden has created a handful of picture books, but this is her first graphic novel and, although the plot falters in a few places, it’s overall a spooky delight.
Shelley Frankenstein, a little girl with exuberant black curls who generally sports a white lab coat, loves all things spooky and scary; from bad haircuts to creepy noises under the bed. She’s determined to emulate her ancestor and create a truly terrifying monster. After all, she’s got a whole castle and the inspiration of the historic monsters who live in on the grounds, including Frankenstein’s Monster, his Bride, and the Werewolf.
There’s just one problem; her parents, dressed in classic Edwardian garb for a family meal, refuse to allow her out at night to pillage graveyards. They’re more interested in veggie bacon than in her ambitions! With the help of Iggy, her blond-haired, rosy-cheeked little brother, she scours the castle for leftover toys she can use to recreate her ancestor’s fearsome experiments.
Unfortunately, far from being scared, her little schoolmates (dressed in costumes varying from sweaters and leggings to lederhosen) adore her creations. The cronkey! The boagiraffe! Each one is more adorable than before and Shelley is losing her cool when she tries one more time and makes… Cowpiggy. This time, she’s sure she’s discovered the secret to bringing to life a truly terrifying creation.
Unfortunately, Cowpiggy doesn’t live up to her expectations, so she takes her to be trained by the monsters in the apartments beneath the castle. When Cowpiggy emerges, she’s truly fearsome – but is that what Shelley really wants? It will take an encounter with a wise women and her horde of bunnies, a blizzard, and some thoughtful guidance from her parents before Shelley figures out how to continue the legacy of the Frankensteins.
Madden’s art is adorable, with plump-cheeked children, cozy striped sweaters, and hordes of darling bunnies. Readers will giggle at Shelley’s continued failure to make a spooky monster as each creation appears, more adorable and cute than the last. Shelley’s face is emotive, from her diabolical eyebrows, to her sadness as she realizes what it’s really like to be truly scared and alone. Cowpiggy, of course, is adorable, even when she’s being mean, with the body of a pig and the spots and stubby horns of a cow. The udders of the original “Lady Marigold” cow toy neatly disappear in the monster-making process, and when she’s not brainwashed into monstrousness, Cowpiggy bounces around the scene spreading smiles and little hearts everywhere she goes.
There are plenty of callouts from the original story, including Cowpiggy’s exile into the snow, after she follows her creator’s directive and scares the kindergarteners, as well as minor bits of wordplay and humor, like the glowing red eyes of “Creepy Jenny.” The plot does get a bit convoluted towards the end, especially when the old lady and her bunny horde are introduced. The message that nobody likes to be truly scared is confusing, although most kids will easily pick up on how Shelley has been violating boundaries and needs to be more respectful of others’ feelings.
While not perfect, this is a delightful series opener for young readers who enjoy a mildly spooky romp without being really scared. Hand to fans of Franny K. Stein or Junior Monster Scouts and other humorously scary beginning chapter books and graphic novels.
Shelley Frankenstein!: Cowpiggy, Book One By Colleen Madden Top Shelf, 2023 ISBN: 9781603095228
NFNT Age Recommendation: Easy Readers (5-9), Middle Grade (7-11)
Being reborn as a genius in a new world, Kanata can’t wait until the day she is able to choose her profession. Everyone expects her to choose the Saint option and is surprised when she chooses Beast Tamer instead.
Almost no one wants this profession due their statistics being lowered and most monsters won’t form contracts with you unless you can defeat them in your weakened state. This does nothing to deter Kanata because she grew up in isolation and never had the chance to come into contact with fluffy critters. She longed to feel their fur for herself, so when she was reincarnated, she was blessed with the luck, strength, and vitality she lacked in her previous life.
The first thing Kanata does after choosing to become a beast master is wander into the woods to find a fluffy creature to tame. She finds a small fluffy cat being attacked by two large bird monsters that had previously given full adventurer parties issue when passing through the woods. Kanata defeats them easily and forms a contract with the cat, who proclaims he is the Demon King Zaggiel under a terrible curse. The next step for Kanata is to join the Adventurers’ Guild and find more fluffy companions.
Although the manga market is flooded with isekai stories, where the main character is reborn in a fantasy world, there are still lots of readers who enjoy finding new spins on the classic trope. In this series, the main character is specifically interested in petting all the fluffy creatures she can find because she was denied that in her previous life of hospitals and isolation. It’s an interesting take on a trope that usually focuses on the main character’s power level because Kanata doesn’t care about that at all. Just the fluff!
The illustrator does a fantastic job creating all the action and emotion that moves the story along. There are two small scenes that might be of concern to parents and librarians. Namely a bath scene where the main character is covered in key areas with steam clouds, which isn’t meant to be sexy. The second scene is a bit more concerning as it depicts theoretical implied rape. It is only one panel and the act is not described in detail, but it might cause issues. For these reasons, I would place this in your adult graphic novel collection or upper teen/new adult. Otherwise, fans of isekai and humorous adventure will enjoy this series opener.
Saint? No! I’m Just a Passing Beast Tamer! The Invincible Saint and the Quest for Fluff Vol. 01 By Inumajin Art by Falmaro Hollendonner Yen Press, 2023 ISBN: 9781975362492
Publisher Age Rating: Teen
NFNT Age Recommendation: Adult (18+), Older Teen (16-18)
In this intermediate graphic novel, two goofy dogs go on a silly adventure, falling into fairy tales, getting chased by bees, and having all sorts of adventures along the way.
Tatertoes, a big white dog with orange ears and protruding front teeth, lives with his friend Mr. Schnozzer, a fluffy and mostly responsible terrier with a prominent nose. Tatertoes is trying to entertain himself on a rainy day when Mr. Schnozzer suggests Tatertoes might like to visit the mother he doesn’t remember at the Jingleberry Puppy Farm in the town of Buzzard’s Breath and the two set off.
Along the way they share multiple puns, misunderstandings, fall into quicksand, and nearly get eaten by the Big Bad Wolf. Schnozzer does his best to be patient with Tatertoes, but it’s hard when he packs a yo-yo instead of food, hits a “candy bag” (wasp nest) with a stick, and finds a fluffy “kitty cat” (bear cub). However, they manage to make it to their destination in the end and all ends well.
While the advanced review copy I received was mostly in black and white, there were sample pages of the finished copy in color. The art style has a classic newspaper comic feel with typical cartoon faces – big eyes and tiny pupils, exaggerated features, and a simple palette of colors. There isn’t a lot of background or scenery, mostly the forest the two are traveling through, and the emphasis is on the dogs’ deadpan faces as Tatertoes cluelessly falls into problem after problem, with Schnozzer trying to fix things. Some of the panels are set against backgrounds, but the bulk follow the traditional pattern of simple white borders around each panel with the dialogue mainly consisting of jokes and exclamations while the action moves through the artwork.
This is Stromoski’s first graphic novel and he is primarily a comic strip cartoonist, so it’s no surprise that this shows a lot of the traditional comic strip humor – some of which I found uncomfortable and which makes me question including it in a library collection. Tatertoes has, as previously mentioned, prominent buck teeth and also drops in and out of specific speech patterns and quirky made-up words “I don’t have a remember of my mother” or “I thinks we need to rescue them before they get cooked.” It constantly made me think of outdated humor that specifically pokes fun at people with mental disabilities or specific ethnic groups. On the other hand, they’re dogs, not people. Tatertoes sometimes turns the table on the supposedly more intelligent Schnozzer, like pulling out a pair of compasses instead of a directional compass or telling Schnozzer “You need to work on your articulation” when he hears “no spiders” as “nose spiders”.
This new series is heavily blurbed by popular creators like Patrick McDonnell and Terri Libenson and ultimately librarians will have to decide if they find the humor stereotyped and negative, or if it really is just a pair of dogs being silly and a fun new graphic novel series that will appeal to fans of similar humor. If you decide to pass on this, alternatives would include Pea, Bee, and Jay, Waffles and Pancake, or The Inflatables. However, this will certainly appeal to fans of Jim Benton and similar goofy series like Gustav & Henri, so if you have a lot of requests for super silly comics this might be a good fit for your collection.
Schnozzer & Tatertoes Take a Hike! Vol. 1 By Rick Stromoski Union Square Kids, 2023 ISBN: 9781454948315
Gorou Amamiya is an obstetrician-gynecologist is a small hospital. He develops an interest in idol star Ai Hoshino after a former patient shared her obsession. One night, he comes face-to-face with Ai, who is pregnant with twins but doesn’t want her fans to know because that would kill her career as an idol. He is murdered before Ai gives birth and is reincarnated as one of the twins named Aquamarine.
The other twin, named Ruby, is also a reincarnation, the same former patient who introduced Gorou to Ai. Neither of them knows who the other was before their incarnation as Ai’s twins, but they work together to help Ai achieve her goals. Several chapters are spent on slice-of-life activities to build relationships and character development.
Unfortunately, Ai is murdered by a fan who then commits suicide when the twins are only four years old. The twins are adopted by Ai’s manager, whose wife had been taking care of them publicly, and Aqua decides that the only way the fan could have known their address was from their biological father, who has always been a secret. The story then jumps forward twelve years.
I enjoyed the coupling of the glitz and darkness of the entertainment industry. I have no personal experience, so I don’t know how accurately it is portrayed; however, it does seem to match what actors and industry people in the United States have revealed in interviews and biographies. It was especially fun to look closer at idol groups, which are very popular both overseas and here in the US. Even if the premise is not based in fact, the storytelling is excellent and crafts a good balance between drama and character growth. This story would benefit from color art, but the illustrator does a good job setting the tone for scenes with the appropriate glitz or darkness.
If you have patrons who are enjoying the anime (available to stream on Hidive), the manga is an excellent complement to have in your collection. The first volume is featured in the extended first episode of the anime, but the manga includes one-page interviews between each chapter that give additional insight into the main story. I would recommend this series for teens or adults since there are some sensitive themes explored.
Oshi No Ko Vol. 01 By Aka Akasaka Art by Mengo Yokoyari Yen Press, 2023 ISBN: 9781975363178
Publisher Age Rating: Older Teen
NFNT Age Recommendation: Adult (18+), Older Teen (16-18) Creator Representation: Japanese,
Told in an episodic way, Coral’s story is like that of other teenage girls—except she’s a sea sprite and her best friends are a siren and a dryad. Coral has a lot of responsibilities she must balance between helping her mom sew dresses at her shop to teaching tourists how to surf at the local resort. One day, Coral is surfing in a little cove that rarely sees visitors when a fire ifrit named Nick Inferno washes up on the beach. Quite literally! It turns out he is trying to learn how to surf, but had a mishap and was just floating in the ocean until he was pushed ashore in Coral’s cove.
Coral develops a crush on Nick after talking to him, but he’s not from the area and she doesn’t know if she’ll ever see him again. In the meantime, Coral meets the new dryad assigned to revitalize the area’s nature and helps her learn about social interactions, including the very important reason for always wearing clothes—boys. Coral also bestows the name Lillyana to her new friend. Other slice-of-life and humorous moments are included in the narrative to flesh out the first volume.
My favorite part of this graphic novel is the color palette. The pastels and preference for cool colors in the storytelling and creating the characters evokes calm emotions and pleasant feelings. It also helped the characters with warm color schemes stand out when introduced.
At first, the story felt very episodic with little connecting plot; however, after the first couple of chapters, things start coming together. A mystery about Coral is introduced, misunderstandings abound, and relationships develop at a believable pace. The book also ends with a massive cliffhanger, so be prepared for readers to want the second volume as soon as possible! This is a great addition to any collection that has preteen or teen readers.
Coral’s Reef, Vol. 01 By David Lumsdon Art by Shiei Hollendonner Seven Seas, 2023 ISBN: 9781645059790
Publisher Age Rating: 8-12 NFNT Age Recommendation: Teen (13-16), Tween (10-13)
Penny’s getting ready to move, but there’s something important she wants to do before she goes. Luc is reluctant to help, but as Penny’s friend agrees to join in. K(aylee) just wants to expand their cryptid knowledge and can’t resist a quest. So the three of them (supervised by Penny’s mom) set out for Lake Bockamixon. Their quest? To find the elusive Bawk-ness monster, Bessie, so Penny can say a final thank-you for saving her life when she was younger.
At first, it seems like the biggest problem will be getting away from Penny’s over-protective mom Ronnie, but things quickly get more exciting when the three friends, along with Bessie and Ronnie, get captured by a notorious cryptid hunter. As they encounter cryptids, villains, and Ronnie’s insistence on “talking things out” with “an adult” the three friends depend on Penny’s kindness and strength, K’s exuberance and knowledge, and Luc’s snarky but efficient preparations in order to survive their dangerous adventure, free the cryptids, and help Penny and her mom clear the air before their move. Along the way, there are brief flashbacks to some of their earlier encounters, including Luc’s initial bullying of Penny and finishing with a casual vignette where Lucy asks the friends to call them Luc going forward.
The raucous humor, boundless enthusiasm, and casual acceptance of indefinite gender expression in this story may remind readers vividly of Lumberjanes, but it’s clearly aimed at a younger audience, especially with a, to my mind, much more concrete plot than the Lumberjanes‘ more fluid narrative. Goetter and Riess are an artistic duo and include a detailed comic of their artistic process at the end of the story, explaining how they work out the plot together, Goetter draws the character and lettering, Riess creates backgrounds and digital art and lettering, and together they produce a finished comic!
The art is colorful and exciting, much like the bouncy characters, with lots of dramatic movement and rich colors. Penny is portrayed as a stocky, strongly-built girl, much like her mom, with chunky hiking boots. She often wears skirts and a bow. Luc, usually shown with a frown, has spiky anime-style brown hair, casual shorts and t-shirts, and an ubiquitous backpack, from which they can produce maps, utility tools, and endless plans. K is Black, the smallest of the three, sporting a white lab coat, green sneakers, goggles, and a maniacal and determined grin.
Alvida, the villain, has a sleek build with snake-like pupils, a hint of fang, and a Cruella deVil style white stripe in her black hair. The myriad of cryptids all have unique designs and looks, but even the slimy ones give the impression of fur and the Bawk-ness Monster is both bird-like and serpentine, with a warm heart under its fluffy feathers. Most of the action takes place in the woods, lake, and Alvida’s creepy lair and the backgrounds are smoothly layered, making the characters and colors pop out at readers.
Penny, her mom, and Alvida are given female pronouns and Alvida’s henchmen are all implied to be male, but K and Luc are not addressed by any specific pronouns.
This delightful romp will be an immediate choice for fans of the duo’s previous book, Dungeon Critters, and anyone who loves humor, cryptids, and a good old-fashioned adventure with determined characters and an evil villain. It’s a strong addition for any library collection, well-suited to elementary school collections, and a great start for a new series.
The Bawk-ness Monster By Sara Goetter, Natalie Riess Jennifer Wharton Macmillan First Second, 2023 ISBN: 9781250834669
In her first choose-your-own-adventure challenge, Megan was in charge of the school talent show. Readers were able to pick her path and help her make choices that ended in disaster or triumph as she dealt with sick performers, murderous seagulls, and all manner of catastrophes. Now she’s back, exhibiting at the Sunbright Middle School’s science fair, but at least she’s not in charge this time?
Unfortunately for Megan, there’s still a lot of ways thing can go wrong amidst the myriad of possible endings, from being embarrassed in front of her crush, captured by aliens, to facing down her old enemies, the sea gulls! Make the right choice and see her helping her friends win a trophy, impressing her crush, or just making it through the day without hideous embarrassment. Wrong choice? She could end up trapped in the school basement, covered in acne, or just leaving early!
Smiley’s art is the same goofy cartoon style as in the first volume, with thick lines that show stick-figure characters. Megan stands out with her brown bun and big glasses and is joined by friends and enemies from the first book—plump Olivia, who’s presenting an experiment on body fungus, apoplectic Mr. Fisher the vice-principal, who’s determined to make a good showing in front of the science fair judges but can’t make it five minutes without bouncing up and down like the ball he resembles and dripping green and yellow sweat, and introducing new friends and enemies for Megan, like her co-presenter Charlotte and fellow student Ponah. The characters all have one of a few body types, oblong or rounded, and their faces show a limited gamut of emotions, mostly anger, surprise, and disgust.
The first book has been popular in my library and readers who like the choose-your-own-adventure format will be eager for another addition to the series. This one is a little more gag-worthy than the first, with Olivia’s body fungus project, run-ins with a skunk, and several other somewhat nauseating science projects, but it’s also got a wider range of endings, from comical cartoon death, with little x’s for eyes or Megan reduced to a skeleton, to the rather blah endings of leaving early or a successful day, sure to send readers back looking for a more exciting finish!
Although I don’t know any schools that have a science fair anymore, the concept is still familiar to kids and the additional goofiness makes this a little stronger than the first title, although both can be read separately. It’s a silly and fun offering that will appeal to many tween readers and could make for a fun ice-breaker exercise in a class presentation or with a group of tweens at a program.
What Happens Next?, Vol 2: Science Fair Frenzy By Jess Smart Smiley Macmillan First Second, 2023 ISBN: 9781250772848
NFNT Age Recommendation: Middle Grade (7-11), Tween (10-13)
Before he donned a mask and cape to fight crime in the streets of Gotham City, before adopting the mantle of the Dark Knight, a thirteen-year-old Bruce Wayne struggled to fit in with his peers at Gotham Preparatory School—a special school for kids gifted with superpowers. In this reimagined, alternate vision of the Batman, Stuart Gibbs (Spy School) and artist Berat Pekmezci introduce a refreshingly amusing and misshapen childhood of Bruce Wayne in Bruce Wayne: Not Super.
In a setting similar to Dr. Xavier’s academy of X-Men mutants, Bruce Wayne feels out of place at a school specially geared to train young students to harness and control their extraordinary powers. While Clark Kent wields super strength, Diana Prince moves with grace and dexterity, and Barry Allen zips by past the speed of light, Bruce lacks natural powers he can boast. Instead, he resorts to designing his own costume for a disguise through trial and error and invents his own set of gadgets to fit in with his classmates. On Career Day, he desires to become a vigilante to battle crime in the name of avenging the murder of his parents, much to the disappointment of the school principal.
In reconstructing a light-hearted rendition of Gotham City, Gibbs and Pekmezci create a world replete with amusing escapades and pranks among superheroes and villains alike. As a middle grader, Bruce Wayne tackles a coming-of-age role whose diffidence, clumsiness, and shyness gives way to hidden, innate ingenuity. While navigating the rocky landscape of interacting with his peers, he encounters comical situations and a montage of goof ups amidst an undercurrent of danger and brooding mystery rendered by Pekmezci’s deep shades of navy blue and indigo. Whether fending for himself in a game of dodge ball or masquerading as a vigilante to stop a theft in progress, each antic-packed panel captures a less than perfect crime fighter in the early stages of his quest to uphold truth and justice. Most charming are the quizzical expressions and persona of a young Batman who gradually discovers his true strength and latent abilities.
Highlighting the wonder years of adolescence, Bruce Wayne: Not Super delves into evolving themes of fitting in, developing self-esteem, doing the right thing, and finding one’s strengths and purpose. On his path towards discovering himself, Bruce Wayne learns that some powers emerge not from spectacular feats of strength, agility, or speed, but from within one’s natural abilities. This graphic novel infuses a fresh foray into a longstanding iconic superhero of the DC Comics universe, ushering in a welcome addition to middle grade collections and challenging young readers to discover their superpowers.
Bruce Wayne Not Super Vol. By Stuart Gibbs Art by Berat Pekmezci DC, 2023 ISBN: 9781779507679
Publisher Age Rating: 8-12
NFNT Age Recommendation: Middle Grade (7-11) Creator Representation: Turkish,